Wednesday, January 9, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 61-65

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 61 - First discovered in Japan, the name hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydor,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to “water barrel,” referring to the hydrangea’s need for plenty of water and its cup-shaped flower. With its wooden stems and lacy, star-shaped flowers packed closely together in a pompom, the hydrangea’s color ranges from white to blue to pink and purple, determined by the acidity level of the soil.

Day 62 – The beginning of January has primrose plants popping up in flower shops and markets all along the east coast. With a vast array of colorful blooms they are a cool weather favorite of many flowering plant lovers and perfect to keep indoors this time of year. They enjoy bright light and cool temperatures, so a nice sunny window away from the heat is a great location for your indoor flowering garden. They like to stay moist, but not wet. Because of their need to be moist and cool, some leaf mold or fungus growth may occur, simply remove any troubled leaves and enjoy.

Day 63 - Grown for both its colorful flowers and its everlasting calyx (the green leaf that encloses the flower bud), statice is also considered an herb, referred to as “sea lavender.” Statice is commonly used in dried flower arrangements as well as fresh bouquets. Its botanical name is derived from the Greek word “limonium,” meaning meadow, referring to the plants original habitat and likely why this versatile flower is also called marsh-rosemary. With a misty and seafoam appearance (two more names associated with this wildflower-like plant), in the language of flowers, statice symbolizes remembrance.

Day 64 - The Matsumoto aster is a fast-growing annual that has long, sturdy stems along with long-lasting flowers. It is native to East Asia and was developed in Japan. It is prized among both home gardeners and commercial floral growers. It tends to last between seven and ten days, depending on the bud stage and is good only as a fresh flower as it does not dry well. It is best to re-cut it about a half-inch from the base of each stem while it is still under water. The water should be changed out every three days and no foliage should be submerged in water or this may lead to bacterial growth.

Day 65 – Many of us remember dyeing flowers as children for a school experiment with food coloring or ink, but floral processors dye flowers by the thousands. Typically flowers are dyed through absorption, the dye is in the water and taken in through the stem and into the petals as the flower drinks, but immersion is another, faster method, where the flowers are dip-dyed. When dyeing fresh cut flowers the dyes are generally used at the rate of 1-2 ounces per gallon of water. One pound of dye tints approximately 5,000-10,000 stems. That’s a lot more than we remember dyeing in elementary school! The daisy pom pons pictured here have been dyed a fun neon pink!

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